YMCA of Greater Boston Announces Free Summer Access to Boston Teens

YMCA of Greater Boston (YGB) President and CEO David Shapiro today joined Boston Public Schools (BPS) Superintendent Mary Skipper to announce all young people in Boston between the ages of 13 and 19 will receive free memberships to all of YGB’s 13 centers this summer. The free memberships are part of YGB’s “Get Summer” initiative, aimed at providing young people with safe and productive activities during the months away from school. Students at the Margarita Muñiz Academy in Jamaica Plain were greeted with t-shirts to help celebrate the announcement. 

“Every young person in the City of Boston deserves to have a summer that is safe, fun, and enriching,” said Shapiro. “The Y seeks to provide a neighborhood-based sense of belonging and community for every teen that’s welcomed through our doors whether through a free summer membership, summer job, or teen programs and nights. We’re proud that last summer one in three Boston teens came to their local Y, and we hope that number will be even higher this summer.” 

Last year, more than 7,000 teens took part in the program across the YMCA’s 13 centers. Teens will have free access from June 23 through Labor Day.

“The YMCA of Greater Boston is a critical partner to BPS, and this is just one example of how they deliver for our students,” said Superintendent Skipper. “Summer is a fun time of year for young people, but it is also a time when students need a home-base where they can connect with friends and stay engaged. Mayor Wu and I are so grateful that once again cost will not be a barrier for young people who want to make the Y their home base this summer.”

The YMCA’s Get Summer initiative will focus on four key themes:

• Staying Safe: providing a safe space for teens during the vulnerable evening hours. 

• Healthy Living: supporting healthy living by offering teens-only evening hours when teens can work out, swim, play basketball, take fitness classes, and connect with friends and caring adult staff members. 

• Hunger Relief: providing free suppers to teens throughout the summer. Since the beginning of the pandemic, YGB has provided more than 5 million meals and bags of groceries. 

• Leadership Development: Local YMCA teen leaders will design and implement much of the Get Summer Programming. YGB staff will support upcoming leaders and create a culture where teens can grow into leaders in their community.

In addition to access to free Y services, YMCA centers in Dorchester, East Boston, Brighton, Roxbury, Chinatown, Huntington Ave center, and the Thomas M. Menino YMCA in Hyde Park will also offer dedicated Teen Centers this summer that are open in the afternoon. The Teen Centers allow a safe space for teens to build their own community through their ideas, relationships, and joy.

YGB is also providing summer employment opportunities to teenagers with more than 230 teens across Boston expected to have summer jobs.  Teens will gain experience as lifeguards, camp counselors, and other roles at the YMCA, making YGB the largest direct youth employer partner for the City of Boston. This year Rockland Trust is the lead corporate supporter of YGB’s summer youth employment program.

For more information, teens and families can visit their local YMCA of Greater Boston branch. More information is available at https://ymcaboston.org/youth-and-family/teen-programs.

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